Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kids Don't Come with Instructions

Wish they did though!

Parenting a child or in my case children with Type 1 D is like parenting any other kid, but with a catch.

Whats the catch? 

Well when they are irritable beyond the point of what we perceive as normal kid behaviour we have to ask ourselves; "Is the mood swing related to the diabetes or is it them just being a kid?" 

I know other parents with diabetes in their family can relate.  So what do we do.

Depends on the kid of course but for the 6 year old we always do a quick finger poke to check her level, then if it is normal we send her straight away to the naughty bench and let the temper tantrum proceed, telling ourselves, well that is simply her being an emotionally dis regulated kid. You know, the old 1 min per year rule on the bench. 

The dilemma rises when her glucose reading is high.  Then the act of discipline (to teach) is a little more comprehensive.  We have to explain that her glucose is high, but this is still not an excuse to beat your sister with the barbie(kidding)but true.  It is not as simple, like most things with diabetes, eating, exercise, whatever, there is way more extra thought involved. 

Our goal with our 6 year old is to teach her boundaries, appropriate behaviour and coping strategies for dealing with her feelings.  But we also have to teach her that high blood sugar can effect her physical and mental well being.  It is a tedious and challenging process, especially for a child as young as six.  

Disciplining my 13 year old Type 1 involves allot of the same principles. Although the Naughty bench has lost its effect.  Key differences include; her increased self awareness, and her ability to self-test.  I do however notice a trend (not too often) when she uses her glucose level as an excuse.  Once again this requires us parents to have a discussion about making different decisions when feeling unwell.  We recommend she test, correct, let us know, and spend some quiet time in her room. This of course is not always the case.  There are the verbal outbursts "That's not fair" or "It was her fault!!!" accompanied by stomping feet, and the occasional door slam.

Disciplining children with DM is really the same as any other kid; but always ask yourself is this the Diabetes talking or is it just the kid?

Then teach your child how to cope and deal with the situation, feelings, and behaviour.

Unfortunately they don't come with instruction books.  Like Diabetes, each kid needs to be treated slightly different.  Some days you wish they came with a receipt, to return them when their behaviour has pushed you to the brink of insanity.  But then they go to bed, and you think, man they drive me mad but I love em more then life itself.


1 comment:

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

It really does complicate things indeed. It make me think of 504 plans and how many provide that if a child with diabetes behaves out of character, that he/she needs to have her blood sugar checked to determine that it is in range before action is taken. It's more black and white at school, I think because although we want to cut slack for the bgs, we also have to see what we can do to avoid or at least understand the behavior in hopes of minimizing it.

Not easy. :(